The first 2009 round of Aero GP, the only international air racing series with multiple airplanes competing against one another at the same time, will take place at Al Ain in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from January 28th - 31st.
Billed as 'the fastest motorsport in the world', air racing sees pilots flying close to the ground, only metres apart at speeds of up to 500 km/h, while experiencing up to 10Gs.
The series has been growing in popularity for five years and is televised in hundreds of millions of homes worldwide, prompting the partnership with the Al Ain Aerobatic Show.
Each Aero GP consists of the following three events:
Air Race - an air race featuring five to six aircraft in the air at the same time, racing against each other around a circuit, often just metres above the ground.
Air Combat - a demanding discipline where two pilots compete head to head in a battle for air supremacy, trying to score enough hits on their opponent for the victory.
Stunts - various stunts are selected, ranging from aerobatics to limbo flying. In Al Ain, the event that has been selected will test the pilots in a real target bombing competition.
Of the pilots competing in front of an expected 130,000 crowd at Al Ain, three are British with USA and Hungary also represented. Among the British pilots is Andy Bickmore, who was previously employed by BMW as a test-driver for new cars, including the M3, M5 and M6 models.